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Transcendentalism In The Beatles Songs Essay

1950 words - 8 pages

Transcendentalism has been felt by all humans at one point or another, the outcome all depends on whether or not this feeling is acted upon. Various sources have all explored transcendentalism and its effects / outcomes, and these sources have ranged from songs, to poems, to books, and even movies. All of these sources tend to lead towards one distinct definition. This definition can be supported by all of my material and transcendentalism is best defined, through these sources, as a philosophy that reality should be explored through spiritual means, involving a unique spiritual connection with the natural world around you.
There are many excellent verbal illustrations of transcendentalism in the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds from their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The Beatles mention many various aspects of transcendentalism within one song. The song starts at the very beginning by asking you to “Picture yourself in a boat on a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.” Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds begins by asking you to picture yourself in nature, to get you to visualize the natural world. They then proceed to describe nature fantastically, with vivid colors, and words that evoke other sentences, leading you to believe that you have a more unique connection with nature than you used to have now that you headed into nature. Then, later in the song, you stand underneath these large yellow and green flowers made of cellophane that tower over your head. By having the flowers tower over your head, those flowers illustrate the total immersion into nature that is a core part of transcendentalism. Yellow and green are also both colors generally associated more with nature, subtly referencing the all-important influence of nature in transcendentalism. This song states outright that all one would have to do is “Climb in the back with your head in the clouds and you’re gone.” That line implies that all you have to do is relax, and let yourself be lost in nature, and you’ll be “gone,” or experience something not many others get to. This idea is the same founding principal of transcendentalism where all one must do is leave your everyday world behind and enter the wilderness to experience a unique experience leading to a heightened sense of reality. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is a song about transcendentalism, and one of many illustrators of the ideals that make up that philosophy.
Another excellent demonstration is in the Seattle Times newspaper article titled “Harsh Alaskan reality lies behind growing ‘Into the Wild’ mystique,” by Rachel D’Oro. The hype surrounding McCandless, along with a bit of background is explored more in-depth in this article. According to the article, “Alexander and his fellow travelers want, in particular, to see the old abandoned bus,” because “It’s almost like a Jim Morrison gravesite, where people just want to go see it.” This shows the spiritual connection made by McCandless with the...

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